The interview with General Hux Domhnall Gleeson was so fun! He is hysterical and not at all as terrifying as Hux. He shares what it's like being a part of two big movie franchises, his favorite lightsaber color, why General Hux is so angry, and more!
Domhnall revealed during The Last Jedi Q&A that he had not seen the film yet. A little birdie tried to say otherwise. Well, it turns out you can't always trust little birds.
That little birdy was a flippin’ liar. (Laughter) I decided I would rather see it with like two thousand people who don’t know what’s going to happen.
Just the feeling in the room. Cause at the Force Awakens, that premier was insane. I was there with my dad and my friend Lawrence. Like what the hell is going on. Whoops and cheering and big gasps and everything. I didn’t want to miss out on that being my first experience with the film, so I’m waiting till whatever day it is next week.
The night before the interviews, we all got a chance to ride Star Tours, which now includes new scenes and faces from the Star Wars films including General Hux. That means Domhnall is now featured in two major theme parks- Disney (World and Land) and Universal. I can't imagine what that feels like.
It’s cool. Like, being part of two different rides that, literally millions of people will go on is kind of ridiculous. But, in a way it’s no different than the films. So many people are going to see Star Wars that, yeah, it’s a bit nuts. The whole thing is a little bit nuts. It’s good though, I think.
Not only did Domhnall answer the question about having a lightsaber in real life, he revealed he actually has 2!
I do have a lightsaber in real life, but it’s just one of the plastic ones, (Laughter) and it’s red. When I went to one of the premier things last time round, Harrison Ford was there and they were giving out these plastic ones to the fans, and I picked a green one ‘cause I’m Irish. And then, we were at the thing and just Harrison Ford’s like the coolest man in the world. So I was talking to my agent and I was kind of waving the thing around, and I saw Harrison Ford was looking over at me, and I was like, oh! (Imitates putting down the lightsaber) (Laughter)
I got my photo with him. That was super cool. So I’ve got a red one and a green one. So, you know what I mean; mix and match, (Laughter), depending on my mood.
So is Han Solo your favorite Star Wars character?
Can you say that? Eh, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that. See, when I was a kid, I was an Indiana Jones kid. More than Star Wars even. My childhood was Harrison Ford in a different movie. I’d never seen the original trilogy, any of them in the cinema. I just missed it. And then my big experience was when I was deciding whether I could be in the Force Awakens, JJ gave me a file of the original Star Wars, and I watched it on a big screen. (Wow)
That was amazing. And then they all became my favorites. How diplomatic is that? (Laughter) They’re all my favorites. Yeah, but I do love Han Solo.
On having Star Wars film in his home country of Ireland:
I love it. And I love that the people who went there had an amazing time. I love that they got good weather. I love that they were all the way up and down the west coast. Ireland is my home. I think it’s the best place in the world, and I’m just happy for people to see it. It’s an intensely beautiful place, and they got to see it in intensely beautiful weather, which is ridiculous. That never happens, (Laughter).
So when they came back and they were all talking about what a good time they had in Ireland, even though I had nothing to do with that, I have to say I was pretty, pretty proud.
Is General Hux inspired by any past villains in the Star Wars franchise?
You can’t steal, right, but like obviously his place in things at the beginning of the film is like Peter Cushing’s kind of role. In terms of just the scheme of the way the villains are set up. He would be kind of fulfilling that role a little bit. But then you have to go to the real world to find you influences. ‘Cause you can’t take you character notes from other characters. I think you want to base it on something that’s real.
And also just about how he’s got to fit into the story. That was a real process with JJ, understanding the most interesting version of Hux, and the most interesting version of Hux, it turns out, was the one that’s actually very dysfunctional with Kylo Ren and kind of battling for their place in things. And for favor from Snoke.
Is there anything he can share about General Hux's character arc in The Last Jedi?
No. (Laughter) The character arc in the first film, he goes from a very good place to a very bad place in terms of his standing in things. I think it’s pretty obvious, he wants his place on the throne. He wants to be in charge of Kylo Ren, whenever Snoke goes, that’s what Hux wants. But he’s in a much worse place at the end of the first movie than he was at the beginning in terms of achieving that goal.
And that’s where we basically start the second movie. You’re just starting the character in a much more desperate place, much more uncomfortable place, and I think that’s a good place to put somebody like Hux. Taking a step back from him and thinking objectively, you want Hux to suffer. That is what you want for somebody like that, who behaves like that, and who carries himself like that. So we start with a place where we’re ready to see him suffer.
On Hux's emotions and what drives the character:
I think, even less than, or more than rage, I think there’s a desperation about him, which is very unbecoming. There’s a need at all times to make sure that everybody knows that he’s important; that they should do what he says, that he deserves his position in things. But he knows that he’s not as powerful as Ren. If it came to a fist fight, he’s dead within ten seconds. And Ren wouldn’t even have to use his fist, he’d just like force choke him or whatever. (Laughs)
Just put yourself in a desperate place, and then say, right I’m getting rid of that, and now I’m pretending that I’m powerful, even though something in there is worried that you’re not.
What was the geek out moment for you, where you thought oh my gosh I'm in this?
Oh my gosh? That’s so polite, (Laughter). I use different words. (Laughter) There are lots of moments like that. Because the scale of things. Because of how much Star Wars means to people. Because just the history of it. Harry Potter was a huge journey, and those films were over twelve year, ten years, you know what I mean? This has been going on since forever.
Without giving anything away of who I worked with on this or didn’t work with, when you’re on set, other people have to come on set to show Ryan a costume in person, or to talk to him about something.
So the days when you don’t know somebody’s gonna be in, and you’re talking to Ryan about something and then Mark Hamill just strolls up in his Luke Skywalker gear, you’re like what the f- (Laughter). You’re like, oh my gosh… (Laughter). Those moments, when you’re not expecting them, and he’s there on a Star Wars set and you’re like, what are you doing in the evil place? Why are you hanging out here, and it’s like, oh he's just here to see Ryan. Those things are kind of amazing. Those moments are where you pinch yourself.
How difficult is it to be careful what you say about the film?
It’s weird, right. This also another reason it was good for me not to watch the movie, because I would definitely have spoiled it for all of you already. (Laughter) My mother has form in this regard. She is the worst person to give away the endings of movies, so I try and make sure I don’t put myself in that position. It’s odd. It’s really easy to say nothing. It’s really difficult to say a little but not too much.
No, there is an understanding, we know we can say nothing, (Laughter). And then some of us are a little bit more blasé with that then others. Oscar just roles with it, and I’m like, I wish I could do that, but I’m just worried I would give away the whole ending.
You have played on the good side of things in Harry Potter and now are playing a very convincing dark character. Which do you tend to side with more?
(Laughs) We all have our dark moments, you know, everybody has those, and those moments when you remind yourself that you should be a better person than what your instinct to do is, that there are other people. Hopefully I’m not that bad about remembering that the good of the people is more important than the good of your own thing, which obviously these days is getting trampled all over the place. Hopefully I’m not to e- (evil) I’ve never killed anyone, (Laughter). Yeah, you just start there and work backwards. (Laughs)
On how Star Wars reflects the times we are living in:
This will sound like I’m hedging my bet right, but most pieces of great art reflect something about the times you live in, no matter when you live. I think that there’s never a lack of bad intention in the world.
People only out for their own interest and the interest of the few. That’s been around forever and will always be around. That’s not gonna disappear. What the brilliance of Star Wars is that when you watch it you can be entertained by the dark side, whereas in real life, that isn’t entertaining, that’s terrifying.
What's next for Domhnall?
I have this movie in Sundance called A Futile Stupid Gesture, which is about the setting up of National Lampoon, which is a very different film to Star Wars, (Laughter). Then there’s Peter Rabbit, but I’m playing, like, Mr. McGregor, (and) I’m kind of the enemy again. I’ll go back to Dublin and chill out and just try to be around my family for Christmas. That doesn't sound like the dark side, right? (Laughter)
Watch Domhnall Gleeson as the intense General Hux in Star Wars The Last Jedi, in theaters tomorrow December 15th 2017!
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I was invited by Disney to share my experience of The Last Jedi with my readers. All opinions are my own. Interview photos courtesy of Louise of MomStart.com